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Lynden, Washington

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Lynden, Washington

Lynden, Washington
Nooksack: Sqwehálich
Nickname(s): Gem City[1][2][3]
Queen of the Nooksack Valley[1][4][5]
Location of Lynden, Washington
Location of Lynden, Washington
Country United States
State Washington
County Whatcom
 • Total 5.18 sq mi (13.42 km2)
 • Land 5.17 sq mi (13.39 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
Elevation 108 ft (33 m)
Population (2010)[7]
 • Total 11,951
 • Estimate (2014)[8] 13,165
 • Density 2,311.6/sq mi (892.5/km2)
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 98264
Area code 360
FIPS code 53-40805
GNIS feature ID 1506392[9]
Demonym Lyndenite
Website City of Lynden

Lynden is the second largest city in Whatcom County, Washington, United States. Named and established in 1874 on the site of the Nooksack Indian village Squahalish (Nooksack: Sqwehálich), the town of Lynden began as a pioneer settlement headed by Holden and Phoebe Judson.

Lynden is approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) south of the U.S.-Canadian border, with Lynden-Aldergrove operation and port of entry hours between 8:00 a.m. and midnight. It is also located about 15 miles (24 km) north of Bellingham, and about 95 miles (153 km) north of Seattle. The population was 11,951 as of the 2010 United States Census. Residents of Lynden are known as "Lyndenites". Lynden is also home to the Northwest Washington Fair.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • Sister city 4
  • Notable people 5
  • Surrounding communities 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The windmill of Dutch Village Inn on the corner of Front and 9th Streets.

Lynden was begun in 1871 and established in 1874 by Holden and Phoebe Judson near the site of the Nooksack Indian village Squahalish (Nooksack: Sqwehálich). It was named by Phoebe Judson after the riverside town in Hohenlinden, a poem by Thomas Campbell, stating:

According to her book, A Pioneer's Search for an Ideal Home, she changed the spelling of "Linden" to be more visually appealing. The town was officially incorporated on March 16, 1891.

The town lies in a broad valley along the winding path of the Nooksack River, which empties into nearby Bellingham Bay. The surrounding area is filled with dairy, raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry farms. Even though not founded by them, the region saw significant Dutch immigration in the early and mid 1900s, spurring the growth of dairies. Now, many of the dairies have been converted into raspberry, blueberry, or strawberry fields. Today, Lynden pays homage to some of its Dutch heritage through locations such as buildings on Front Street, where some businesses have been made-over with a Dutch theme, complete with a windmill. Along that street, you'll find the Lynden Dutch Bakery, Dutch Mother's Restaurant, and numerous local businesses. Some local supermarkets contain Dutch food sections, but Dutch is spoken by very few of the town's residents today. In the last two decades, the population has nearly doubled in size, with Dutch being more predominate than other ethnic ancestry.(see 2010 census figures).

The Raspberry Festival is held the third weekend in July every year. The festival includes the Curt Maberry 3-on-3 basketball tournament, the Razz & Shine Car Show, The Raspberry Fun Run, tours of raspberry fields and wineries and the ever popular Raspberry & Ice Cream All Day social. Other notable events are the Farmer's Day Parade, the Sinterklaas/Lighted Christmas Parade, the Antique Tractor Show, and many other events that can be seen in more detail at Lynden's website calendar.[10]

The town is noted for its manicured lawns, Dutch architecture and abundance of churches. In August, the Northwest Washington Fair lures over 200,000 people, and allows Whatcom County residents to display their agricultural products, art, crafts and wares. This regional fair is highly regarded as one of the best family friendly fairs in the state.

In 2005, Lynden gained renown for its infamous Lynden Drug Tunnel, built by a band of Canadian drug-smugglers in the basement of a residence 5 miles north of Lynden along the Canadian border.

Lynden is one of the few cities in the world whose main entrance is in between two cemeteries. At one time, Lynden held the world record for most churches per square mile and per capita, though unsubstantiated. That title currently goes to Wheaton, Ill. Due to the town's large population of those who attend or are members of Lynden's many churches, the town has had a long tradition of most businesses closing on Sunday. It has changed very little over time, and there are few businesses open on Sunday now, as in other communities. A law prohibiting Sunday alcohol sales that was on the books for 41 years was repealed on October 20, 2008, due to changes in the population thinking concerning this matter as well.[11]


Lynden is located at (48.946606, -122.456927).[12]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.18 square miles (13.42 km2), of which, 5.17 square miles (13.39 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.[6]


Climate data for Lynden, Washington
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 41
Average low °F (°C) 30
Average precipitation inches (mm) 7.9
Source: The Weather Channel[13]


2010 census

As of the census[7] of 2010, there were 11,951 people, 4,594 households, and 3,248 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,311.6 inhabitants per square mile (892.5/km2). There were 4,812 housing units at an average density of 930.8 per square mile (359.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.7% White, 0.7% African American, 0.9% Native American, 2.5% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 4.0% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.7% of the population.

There were 4,594 households of which 32.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.1% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 29.3% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.11.

The median age in the city was 38.6 years. 26.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.5% were from 25 to 44; 22.8% were from 45 to 64; and 19.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.8% male and 53.2% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,020 people, 3,426 households, and 2,500 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,208.8 people per square mile (853.6/km²). There were 3,592 housing units at an average density of 879.6 per square mile (339.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.07% White, 0.27% African American, 0.45% Native American, 2.26% Asian, 2.51% from other races, and 1.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.73% of the population.

There were 3,426 households out of which 34.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the city the age distribution of the population shows 28.2% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 19.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,767, and the median income for a family was $50,449. Males had a median income of $39,597 versus $23,292 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,639. About 4.1% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.5% of those under age 18 and 12.7% of those age 65 or over.

Sister city

Lynden has one sister city[16]

Notable people

Surrounding communities


  1. ^ a b Judson, Phoebe Goodell (1984) [1925].  
  2. ^ The "Gem City" of Twenty Years Ago
  3. ^ Lynden Tribune
  4. ^ The Blaine Journal
  5. ^ USGenWeb Project – Lynden: The Queen of the Nooksack Valley
  6. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  7. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  8. ^ a b "Population Estimates".  
  9. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  10. ^
  11. ^ Taylor, Sam (2008-10-21). "Lynden repeals Sunday liquor ban". The Seattle Times. 
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  13. ^ "Monthly Averages for Lynden, Washington". The Weather Channel. 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 
  14. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  15. ^  
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • Lynden Tribune
  • Lynden Community/Senior Center
  • Lynden School District
  • Lynden Christian Schools
  • Lynden First Reformed Church
  • Sonlight Community Church
  • Imagine NW!
  • Lynden American Reformed Church
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